Page 47 of Hopeful Hearts

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“It sucks that none of your family are a match,” Lennon said quietly. “It’s weird how blood type’s work, don’t you think?”

“I guess it’s just the way the cookie crumbles,” Sophia shrugged, blinking a tear away. She closed her eyes for a second. The room was so silent she could've heard a pin drop and the level of guilt she felt for being the one to cause so much upset was unreal.


Brodie wiped a bead of sweat off his brow. He would rather plumb ten toilets in than work another hour in the kitchen. It was too hot to think straight, and the chef liked the sound of his own voice far too much for Brodie. Coupled with the fact he had an anger problem, it made for an unpleasant experience, to say the least.

Still, at least he hadn’t been outed and no one from the tour appeared to have noticed him missing as he hadn’t heard sight nor sound of the group since he had slipped away.

“Go time,” the chef announced and Brodie nodded. He was ready.

He followed the chef to the window and within seconds, a swarm of hungry workmen appeared with empty trays.

“Hey, I was wondering–”

“I’m wondering why the fuck you're talking to me instead of putting that on my plate.”

“Hi, I’m looking for–”

“Can I get extra fries with that?”

“Do you know a guy called Austin?”

The worker shook his head and Brodie wasn’t sure he’d even heard his question. This wasn’t going to work.

“Hey, stop talking too much. You’re slowing things down.”

“Yes, Chef,” Brodie nodded, scanning the room for anyone who had a remote likeness to his wife.

Knowing he was already on borrowed time, he pulled off his apron.

“What are you doing? Put that back on.”

“Sorry. I don’t think kitchen work is for me,” Brodie mumbled as he backed away and made a quick exit through the door into the cafeteria area. Running, in case the chef gave chase, he seized his opportunity and jumped up onto an empty table.

Pushing down his tongue, he let out a loud whistle that commanded the attention of everyone in the room.

“My wife is dying,” he called out. I’m looking for her brother, Austin. He could save her life, so I really need to find him.”

Silence filled the room, and all eyes were pinned to him.

“Does anyone know Austin Wright?”

Whispers spread around the room and the volume grew louder as the workmen dismissed him and went back to their conversations or made assumptions about the crazy guy standing on the table.

Maybe he was crazy. He was crazy about Sophia, that much was for sure, but what if the simple act of loving her was making him lose his shit? Brodie was usually a guy of logic and reason and in the last twenty-four hours, there’d been none of that. He was out here acting on pure impulse and he’d do it all again if he had to. Better to be crazy in love than sane without her.

Two guys appeared either side of him wearing security jackets and Brodie bowed his head.

“I’m leaving. Sorry. I don’t usually do things like this. I just really need to find this guy.”

Neither of the security guards had an ounce of compassion as they eyed him. Only a look of annoyance and suspicion.

“How did you get in here?”

“I was on the group tour. I’ll go and catch them up,” he offered.

“No chance. You’ll have to sit with us until the next boat.”

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